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August 31, 2013
A call for action for peace and justice in the Middle East, issued by the Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI), on behalf of the two organizations: East Jerusalem YMCA and YWCA of Palestine.
We, the YWCA of Palestine and East Jerusalem YMCA, represented by the JAI, and as organizations that have a long history of working on issues of peace with justice, and stand in search for lasting and durable peace with justice for all the people in the Middle East, are deeply concerned about the escalating situation in the Middle East, and the increasing foreign military presence. We are very concerned about the threats made in the last few days by the USA and some European countries to directly attack Syria following the accusation of the Syrian Government of using chemical weapon against civilians. Although we do not support the use of any military force and prohibited weapons, we also recognize that any attempts to strike Syria will definitely and only cause more killings and suffering to the Syrian people in addition to more destruction of the country, and more refugees and displacements in the whole region. This direct foreign military intervention in Syria will escalate the situation in the entire Middle East and more countries might join and might cause a regional war that will claim lives of more civilians from all the surrounding countries. We as women and youth organizations recognize that women, youth and children suffer most in times of war, and will have to bear for generations to come all the negative consequences of house demolishing, displacements and trauma.
We commend the UN’s initiative to send the UN inspectors to investigate the use of chemical weapons, and urge all parties for self-control until the mission submits their reports to the UN, with the hope that the UN will become the broker for peace and security in the world, rather than war.
As we express our deep appreciation to all the peoples in the world, civil society organizations, churches, Church leaders, who expressed through different measures their concerns, and /or demonstrated against such threats in the last few days asking their governments to take their hands off Syria, we urge all our partners, friends, and peace-loving people worldwide to immediately and urgently intervene stop the attempts made by the USA and the other counties to attack Syria, and lobby their governments to refrain from any military intervention in Syria. Military aggression will only lead to more displacement, more refugees and more internal conflict in the countries of the region. Already Syrian refugees are fleeing to Jordan and Lebanon, creating a stressful internal situation and instability, as well as competition over limited resources. Until today, the Iraqi situation and war in Iraq has not yielded peace, and governments are not learning the lesson that: War does not make peace.
The failure to create peace by Western governments and the UN System and the lack of understanding that there can be no peace as long as the basic rights for self determination for people and sovereignties of governments are abused, will continue to threaten the regional and world peace.
We therefore call on YWCA movement worldwide, and the YMCA’s and the International community, churches, civil society and non governmental organizations to:
We urge you to continue to support us and all the peoples in the region as we seek to find peaceful solutions, and a long lasting peace that is based on justice for all, and respects and adheres to all principles of human rights, and promises improved livelihoods . Investing in war has only reduced resources available for investing in human development, and is making the mission of civil society organizations, the UN and governments in its fight against poverty and displacement almost impossible.
LET US JOIN FORCES FOR PEACE
LET US CREATE A BETTER FUTURE FOR OUR CHILDREN
LET US KEEP HOPE ALIVE